Friday 23 March 2018

Backing for naming of road after ó Suilleabháin

AN Irish language group has said it supports the idea of having the soon-to-open northern inner relief road around Gorey named after local literary giant Diarmaid Ó Suilleabháin.

It was agreed at Council level in July to name the southern inner relief road after local artist Paul Funge, and a proposal was made at the same meeting to name the northern relief road after his close friend Ó Suilleabháin. The Councillors agreed to discuss potential names at their next meeting.

The local Conradh na Gaeilge branch said this week that such a move would be an appropriate way to remember the writer. 'O Suilleabháin was one of Ireland's greatest modern writers but yet has been largely forgotten in terms of recognition in his own town,' said a spokesperson for the group. 'Such a move would give him some of the recognition he deserved.'

'Ó Suilleabháin was widely regarded by his contemporaries as a literary giant and one of the most innovative Irish-language authors to emerge in the 1960s,' she added. 'For many fans of the genre, when Máirtín Ó Cadhain died in 1970, the mantle of the greatest writer of Irish prose fell on the shoulders of Diarmaid Ó Súilleabháin, who was a native of Bearra, West Cork, but who adopted Gorey as his homeplace where he lived in Cluainin and worked as a primary teacher in the CBS.'

'Many people in Gorey think it would be fitting to have both new roads in the town named after two close friends who were artistic and literary giants and great ambassadors for our town,' she concluded.

Ó Súilleabháin was closely associated with internationally acclaimed artist Paul Funge, founder of the Gorey Arts Centre, and his house was always known as a meeting place for artists and writers.

He has an extensive collection of publications, some of which have won international awards. His novels include 'Ciontach', 'Dianmhuilte Dé', 'Súil le Muir', 'An Uain Bheo', and he was also well known for his dramatic works 'Bior', 'Macalla' and 'Ontos'. Ó Súilleabháin managed to win more literary prizes than any other living Irish author.

Gorey Library and Zozimus Bookshop at The Book Café on Gorey's Main Street have stocked his poetry collection 'Cosa Greine', which was published earlier this year - 28 years posthumously. Proprietor John Wyse Jackson has also gathered up some of Ó Súilleabháin's works in his second-hand collection, which are by now rare collectors' items.

Gorey Guardian